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Controller vs. Mouse - How does CoD Modern Warfare play better?

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare allows players with mouse and keyboard to compete against players with controllers thanks to crossplay. But that doesn't mean it's unfair because of it. We look to see if mouse players really have an advantage.

We check that: Again and again there are discussions on the Internet about whether the mouse with keyboard or the controller is the better input device in shooters like Modern Warfare. This often degenerates into a "console vs. PC" discussion. However, many players agree: the mouse is more powerful.

But there are also dissenting voices. The streamer and ex-pro summit1g even claims that controller players have an advantage in Halo Reach, for example - which is also the case in Modern Warfare (via Dexerto).

Modern Warfare offers crossplay between PS4, PC and Xbox One. If the option is enabled (which it is by default), players from any platform can compete against each other, even with different input devices.

That means: If you play on the console, you could score against players on the PC with mouse and keyboard. The other way around, you can also get into console lobbies. This happens often when you use a controller on your PC.

We'll take a look at which input device is really more powerful in Modern Warfare.

Mouse vs. controller - which is stronger?

A number of players and experts have already dealt with the question in their analyzes. In doing so, they found that both the mouse and keyboard and the controller have their advantages and disadvantages. In one of his videos, the CoD expert Drift0r addresses exactly this question:

The advantages and disadvantages of the mouse and keyboard: Most of the analyzes also reflect the impression many gamers have: the mouse is simply more precise as an input device. You can control more precisely how you aim and the crosshairs are more precise where you want them to be.

The mouse also allows faster movements so that opponents can be detected more quickly from behind or from the side. One turn can be fast enough to catch an enemy on the flank if they open fire too early.

If you deal a little with the settings of the mouse, you can adjust your movements exactly and even set sensitivity profiles with the right mouse, so that you can even use different settings for sniper rifles and shotguns in the game.

Per
  • More precise
  • More setting options
  • Free key assignment and more keys
Contra
  • Requires more space
  • Less consistency (greater gap between good and bad players)

The advantages and disadvantages of the controller: The controller, on the other hand, offers an aim assist, which can be really strong in Modern Warfare. The option allows controller players to stay on moving targets more easily and to land accurate hits despite the somewhat imprecise stick movement.

However, this is not necessarily an unfair advantage, just offsetting a disadvantage. On the other hand, a controller offers some comfort advantages, such as a more comfortable feeling in the hand or the possibility of easily playing from the sofa. However, these are personal preferences.

Per
  • Pleasant service
  • Aim assist
Contra
  • Inaccurate movements
  • Fewer buttons / buttons available

Interim conclusion on the input device

Which device is better now? In a direct comparison, the mouse performs better. However, this only applies if you use its functions properly.

In short: Anyone who is really good with the mouse will pull off every controller player without exception. According to Drift0r you would have to play on the level of a shroud (the “human aimot”).

Console vs. PC

This is why the choice of platform is important: In its video, Drift0r also explains that the platform plays a role. CoD: Modern Warfare offers many setting options, such as setting the field of view or screen resolution.

Such options can only be used properly on the PC. Native resolutions beyond 1080p can be selected here - not by default in the console versions. This means that PC gamers can play with larger textures by default without having to scale the image, which can lead to input lag.

In addition, PCs and PC monitors allow far more than the standard 60Hz (or 60FPS) consoles. So you're playing with a more fluid image there. A test with Profi shroud has already shown how important the FPS are.

For this comparison, however, this is only of secondary importance, since it is primarily about the input devices. Controllers can also be used on the PC and mouse and keyboard with certain settings on PS4 and Xbox One.

10 settings that can make you better at CoD Modern Warfare

Self-test - how the controller and mouse play in comparison

This is how it was tested: To get an impression of the whole thing, I played with both devices myself. Actually, I play on the PC with a mouse and keyboard, which is actually quite good. For the test, however, I did a few laps with an Xbox One controller.

For the test, I chose the free-for-all mode because, in my opinion, it offers the fairest conditions and tests my skills alone, not those of a team. This enabled me to better compare how I performed with the respective devices.

For both styles of play, I chose a Run & Gun build with the MP7. This is my preferred way of playing CoD.

This is how it is played with the controller

My impressions with the controller: My first lap with the controller was surprisingly very good and even pleasant. As someone who normally only plays platformer and controller adventure games, Modern Warfare felt pretty good.

Aiming was also less of a problem than I thought. In fact, I found it easier to keep my sights on enemies. After a short time I even consciously used Aim Assist, which made the whole game even smoother.

The controller is very easy to use, even for someone who never uses it for shooters. Many things work intuitively, such as firing, sprinting or reloading. Only a few small things such as crouching or holding down keys for some actions are unfamiliar.

Firing at greater distances was also difficult for me. At a shorter distance, however, it even felt easier to get kills. In the end, I was able to finish all rounds with a solid fourth place or higher and with between 22 and 28 kills.

This is how it works with the mouse and keyboard

My impressions with mouse and keyboard: For comparison, I played with the mouse again immediately after my controller rounds. It struck me that I can rely heavily on my muscle memory here.

Many of my movements are automatic and, after years on the PC, are simply a reflex. The arm with the mouse moves immediately when I see something. These are movements that I don't have and probably never will with the controller, because my thumbs simply can't be trained as well as a whole arm (at least that's my impression).

In addition, my key assignment for the keyboard is different and adjusted to my preferences. Many commands are on easier-to-reach buttons or on the thumb buttons of the mouse. That leads - at least for me - to smoother rounds. I finished all of the games on places 1 to 3.

This is how the games differ

How do the rounds differ? What struck me, however, are the different ways of playing the devices and players. With the controller, I have been assigned to many controller lobbies. They were mixed, but mostly dominated by controllers.

I noticed a few things that were completely different in controller lobbies, at least in my games, than during my dozen hours with the mouse:

  • A lot more people are camping
  • Shotguns and claymores are used more frequently
  • The rounds are more even - nobody dominates the whole game
  • Players use the mount function for weapons more often

The other style of play is neither better nor worse, just different. However, claymores and camping in particular are things that are less common on the PC, because faster aiming allows you to react better here.

In short: If you play with a controller game style against mouse and keyboard, you are at a disadvantage. On the other hand, if you play carelessly as a mouse player, you will lose to the controller.

Conclusion: should I now play with a controller or a mouse?

If you want to get really good in Modern Warfare, you should use the mouse, because this simply offers better conditions at a higher level. But that only applies to the absolutely strongest of all players.

Casual and even competitive can be played with both input devices without a doubt. Those who are good with the controller dominate mouse players and vice versa. But that's also down to the player and not the input device. Everything can be trained.

The devices differ in the way they are played, as they favor different ways of playing. Mouse players may want more speed and accuracy, while controller players may want to pay more attention to their recoil:

These are the strongest essays in CoD Modern Warfare for better aiming